John VetterleinBiography . Natural History . Photography
John Vetterlein sadly died earlier this year.
This tribute by Bruce Larner is an extract from the Annual Report 2022, recently published.
John will be missed by family, friends and anyone who has had the pleasure to join him looking at the flora and, particularly, the butterflies of Southampton Old Cemetery and further afield.
The text is reproduced below the page image.
I was so sorry to hear the sad news that my good friend John Vetterlein, aged 75, passed away in hospital on Monday 6th February. His family were at his bedside.
John’s passion was butterflies. He was an avid photographer of them and over several years had led numerous well attended Wildflower and Butterfly walks in the Old Cemetery. JV aka ‘The Hat’ (as he had one for all weathers) was incredibly well informed on flora and possessed a wonderful cheeky sense of humour.
During his walks he would invariably find something edible. Having just informed everyone that all parts of Yew trees are poisonous, he then proceeded to offer them some berries, which are actually delicious, but came with a warning to spit out the pips as they are also poisonous!
Another old chestnut was the Trojan Horse plants, actually Wood Anemones – Wooden Enemies! Oh John, not again!
Back in February 2019 he had organised a wonderful exhibition at the ‘Harbour Lights Cinema’ of his best butterfly pictures called ‘Chasing Butterflies’. This event was incredibly well attended and afterwards John admitted that he had felt quite overwhelmed at the response.
In May and June of that year he had also led two walks for ‘Home Educated Children’. The first was incredibly popular and afterwards John said that he had felt like the ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’! Consequently for safety reasons the second walk a month later was much smaller. However, the result for one lucky young lady was truly remarkable as they came across a freshly hatched Marble White butterfly that with John’s guidance settled on her hand. Her T shirt said ‘Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen’ and it certainly did for her! Well done JV, what a remarkable man you were and a true butterfly expert.
Rest in peace my friend in the knowledge that you brought so much joy to so many folk, you will be greatly missed.Bruce Larner
- Association of British Fungi Groups
- Bournemouth Natural Science Society and Museum
- British Bugs
- British Dragonflies
- British Lichens
- Dan and Rosemary Powell
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Butterfly Conservation
- Hampshire Bat Group
- Hampshire Ornithological Society
- Hampshire Wildlife Trust
- Lymington and District Natural History Society
- UK Hoverflies